Time saving party tips for time poor parents…

I’m pretty slow to post this one (note previous sentence), but my biggest babe turned 10 way back in June and I thought I’d do a quick post to share a few of my top time saving party tips for kids.

Now, I know I’m definitely NOT a party planning expert, but with four little ones, I have thrown a few over the years. And, while there are still those moments I hit the panic buttons at full force and the stress levels hit an all time high, I do have a few time saving tricks up my sleeve that can help to make the day run all that smoother.

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Plan in advance  – Ok pretty obvious but if you can plan a few things in advance, eg balloons, invites and decorations you are off to a pretty good start.

One way to give yourself time is to set up an annual reminder on your iphone or mobile device. If you set it for three weeks in advance, there should be ample time for those online shopping orders to arrive.

There is nothing worse than anxiously checking shipping dates as you wait for those cool honeycomb decorations to turn up, only to find that ship is yet to sail.


When setting a reminder on your phone choose the  ‘double reminder’ option, it’s good to have a back-up.  Just make sure the time you set your reminder to is at a convenient time for you to take action.

If you have more free time to browse the net once your babes are fast asleep then pop that time into the reminder instead of smack bang on the 7am morning rush. If you tick the remind me ‘annually’ box for all of these important birthday events, you shouldn’t need to worry about it again.

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Decorate before the party day – anything that can lessen the stress of party day prep gets a big tick from me. And if you’re anything like me and celebrate the naturally occurring phenomenom of ‘birthday week’ then party decorations for days, YES PLEASE!!!

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Delegate party tasks where possible – My kids have been helping me with party prep since Summer was about four years of age. If they are old enough to follow simple instructions and they are keen to help, let them. But, keep it simple!

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Every year my kids do the lolly bags (even 2 year old Indi joins in) – sure there may be an extra one here or there, but in the whole scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.

To make this task easy for small children put the lollies, balloons, party favours etc in a number of bowls or plates (use paper if need be) in a straight line along a table and ask them to put one of each into the lolly bags.

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Once the bigger items are gone (eg party favours/balloons) I simply disperse the ‘multiples’ in the other bowls and say, ‘ok, now put another one lolly from each bowl again’. Of course if lollies aren’t to your style, swap it up for whatever rocks your party socks! Again, don’t stress the small stuff.

Other birthday party prep things my kids help me with are – pass the parcel or the wrapping of prizes, and making the kid friendly music playlist on the i-phone before the big day (just double check this one before you hit play).


Invitations – If they can write it, let them. Simple as. But… what about messy writing???  mistakes…??? Pfffft it’s how kids learn, it’s how we all learn, embrace it and love it!

If you clearly write out one invitation, your child can copy the rest (provided they have basic writing skills). Make sure you double check them before they get handed out.

Ocea once wrote all her invites independently and I almost had a sleepover full of girls from 10am to 5pm the following evening – arghhh! I don’t love parties THAT much!

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Play to your strengths – Cooking is not my forte, and because I always tend to be doing 50 things at once, keeping a watchful eye on the oven or stove is a skill I’m yet to master. If time is a big factor, buying a basic pre-made sponge is one of THE BEST ways to save time and there is no stress about accidental burning. With the cake already baked all you need to do is put your own spin on it..

Summer’s cake (pictured above) was made by layering two basic store bought sponges which I then filled with jam and cream, iced and added fruit flavoured mentos to decorate. Super easy and SHE LOVED IT!

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Store and reuse – Allocate a large storage box specifically for special occasions.  If you take the time and effort to put everything back in its place, it can be used time and time again. Make sure you always have a little stash of sticky tape, 3m adhesive hooks and of course, blue tac on hand to help with those little things you need. It’s a good idea to pop those back in the ‘party box’ for next time too.

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So, that’s it! Just a few time savers to help keep party chaos at bay.

Comments, thoughts, other tips you would love to share? Drop us a line below, I would love to hear!

big thanks,

love ness X